Name: Carolyn Miller
Location: Hancock Park — Los Angeles, California
Size: 2700 square feet
Years lived in: 5 1/2 years — rented
Born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles, Carolyn has a love for all that this bustling city encompasses, from the diversity and culture to the helicopters and constant sounds buzzing all around.
As a writer and filmmaker, Carolyn does a lot of work from home — she's created her surroundings to be a place of inspiration. Her home feels very relaxed and eclectic yet still thoughtfully designed. Her style and interests are shown throughout her furniture, accessories, art and lighting. She has spent a great deal of time and patience finding the pieces in her home by attending estate sales and online auctions, as well as hunting on Craigslist and eBay.
As I stepped into her home and passed the beautiful traditional old European mural lining the entryway I felt it was like I was being transported to a different place. Even the hustle and bustle of the busy LA streets that I just navigated seemed to have disappeared.
One of the best tips I got from her (as I was wiping my drool off the floor after spotting Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans photographs) was that you can get high res scans from the Library of Congress and then print them out on archival paper. It's little tricks like these, coupled with her great design sense that make this home a Los Angeles gem.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Relaxed bohemian meets mid century glam
Inspiration: Thom Filicia, Waldo Fernandez, Amalfi Coast, Antonioni, Elle Decor, Joan Mitchell
Favorite Element: The empty canvas - we've got big plain rooms and neutral walls that let you try things out
Biggest Challenge: Lighting. We're the bottom floor, the back rooms can feel like tombs, trees block windows, there's no recessed lighting.
Proudest DIY: My first chair project (there have been many since) - it got the obsession started. I found her in an alley, stripped her, stained her, recovered her in white ostrich - she went from trash to glam. And redoing all the trim in the living room in a high gloss white, it brought so much light and modernity into the room.
What Friends Say: Every time I come here, I'm going to find something new.
Best Advice: I find that artwork is so personal and is such an extravagance that it is best not rush it. Save it for last. There are some amazing resources I've found along the way. The Library of Congress has high res scans of Farm Security Administration photos during WW2, which include works by Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. I had them printed on German etching paper. Also Hagemann in Germany still sells all those great botany charts and will ship them directly to you.
Resources of Note:
• I got my Finn Juhl Diplomat chair off ebay. He was an absolute mess, far gone from his days of grandeur in the lobby of the UN (supposedly that's what Juhl made the chairs for).
• Ikat Fabric Thom Felicia
• Coffee Table & Club chairs are Pottery Barn
• able Lamp Gina Sarfatti
• Three globe lamp is Koch & Lowy from an estate sale
• The curtain fabric is Thomas Paul's Plume Peacock
• Dining table is William Sonoma Home
• The chandelier is Italian 1950s
• The lamps are Laurel of ebay
• The chairs are from Orange
• The coffee table is Karl Springer
• Rattan chairs are alley finds
• The couch is from 22 Bond Street
• Live Auctioneers - I am obsessed with online auctions and estate sales
• Artnet Auctions - I bought my mother a Massimo Vitalli a few months ago
• Craigslist - I troll often
• One Kings Lane
• Tara Home - an amazing warehouse on La Cienega
• Lawson Fenning - just to drool and be inspired
• Empiric Studio on Beverly
• Old Friends Antiques in Canoga Park - Alan is an expert furniture restorer and a superlative human being. His prices are very fair and worth the haul from West Hollywood out to Canga Park. He knows old wood.
• FSA website
• Botany Charts - Hagemann
Images: Alysha Findley
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